1-1  By:  Greenberg (Senate Sponsor - Zaffirini)           H.B. No. 1559
    1-2        (In the Senate - Received from the House May 13, 1993;
    1-3  May 14, 1993, read first time and referred to Committee on Natural
    1-4  Resources; May 21, 1993, reported favorably by the following vote:
    1-5  Yeas 9, Nays 0; May 21, 1993, sent to printer.)
    1-6                            COMMITTEE VOTE
    1-7                          Yea     Nay      PNV      Absent 
    1-8        Sims               x                               
    1-9        Truan              x                               
   1-10        Armbrister         x                               
   1-11        Barrientos         x                               
   1-12        Bivins             x                               
   1-13        Brown                                          x   
   1-14        Carriker           x                               
   1-15        Lucio              x                               
   1-16        Montford                                       x   
   1-17        Ratliff            x                               
   1-18        Shelley            x                               
   1-19                         A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
   1-20                                AN ACT
   1-21  relating to the establishment of tree planting and other urban
   1-22  forestry practices to protect and maintain the state's urban forest
   1-23  resources.
   1-25        SECTION 1.  Chapter 88, Education Code, is amended by adding
   1-26  Subchapter G to read as follows:
   1-28        Sec. 88.551.  SHORT TITLE.  This subchapter may be cited as
   1-29  the Texas-Grown Urban and Community Forest Act.
   1-30        Sec. 88.552.  PURPOSE.  The purpose of this subchapter is to:
   1-31              (1)  improve understanding of the benefits of
   1-32  preserving existing tree cover in urban areas and communities;
   1-33              (2)  encourage owners of private residences and
   1-34  commercial properties to maintain trees and to expand forest cover
   1-35  on their properties;
   1-36              (3)  provide educational programs and technical
   1-37  assistance to local governments and organizations to maintain and
   1-38  protect existing forests and to identify sites for expanding forest
   1-39  cover;
   1-40              (4)  provide assistance through competitive matching
   1-41  grants to local units of government, to approved charitable
   1-42  organizations that meet the requirements of Section 501(c)(3) of
   1-43  the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and to other local community
   1-44  tree volunteer groups for urban and community forestry projects;
   1-45              (5)  coordinate the activities of various state
   1-46  agencies to maximize the state resources available to establish and
   1-47  protect as much tree cover on public lands as practical;
   1-48              (6)  establish a tree planting program to reduce carbon
   1-49  dioxide emissions, conserve energy, and improve air and water
   1-50  quality in addition to providing other environmental benefits;
   1-51              (7)  mitigate the loss of trees caused by the clearing
   1-52  of land or urbanization;
   1-53              (8)  promote local tree production in Texas; and
   1-54              (9)  decrease energy consumption by providing shade,
   1-55  blocking winds, and adding moisture to the air.
   1-56        Sec. 88.553.  DEFINITIONS.  In this subchapter:
   1-57              (1)  "Director" has the meaning assigned by Section
   1-58  88.101 of this code.
   1-59              (2)  "Forest service" means the Texas Forest Service.
   1-60        Sec. 88.554.  GENERAL AUTHORITY OF DIRECTOR.  (a)  The
   1-61  director may provide financial, technical, and related assistance
   1-62  to a unit of local government and to other persons to encourage
   1-63  cooperative efforts to plan urban forestry programs to plant,
   1-64  protect, and maintain trees in open spaces, parks, roadside
   1-65  corridors, and other suitable public and private lands.
   1-66        (b)  The director may cooperate with members of the public,
   1-67  including private nonprofit organizations and units of local
   1-68  government, in providing assistance under Subsection (a) of this
    2-1  section.
    2-3  The director, in cooperation with other state officials, local
    2-4  governments, and interested members of the public, shall implement
    2-5  a program of education and technical assistance for urban and
    2-6  community forest resources.  The director shall design the program
    2-7  to:
    2-8              (1)  assist urban areas and communities in inventorying
    2-9  their forest resources, identifying planting opportunities and tree
   2-10  maintenance or management needs, and preparing resource development
   2-11  and management plans for trees and related resources; and
   2-12              (2)  increase public understanding of the energy
   2-13  conservation, economic, social, environmental, and psychological
   2-14  value of trees and open space in urban and community environments.
   2-15        Sec. 88.556.  COST-SHARE PROGRAM.  (a)  The director shall
   2-16  establish an urban and community forestry challenge cost-share
   2-17  program.   The program shall provide money and other support to
   2-18  eligible communities and organizations on a competitive basis for
   2-19  urban and community projects.  The director shall make awards under
   2-20  the program at a frequency and in  accordance with criteria
   2-21  determined by the director.  In developing the criteria, the
   2-22  director may consider recommendations of the National Urban and
   2-23  Community Forestry Advisory Council, the Texas Urban Forestry
   2-24  Advisory Council, and appropriate nonprofit organizations organized
   2-25  to promote urban forestry.
   2-26        (b)  The share of support provided under this section from
   2-27  the urban and community forestry fund may not exceed 50 percent of
   2-28  the cost for a project and shall be provided on a matching basis.
   2-29  The match for the share from the fund may be in the form of cash,
   2-30  services, or in-kind contributions.
   2-31        (c)  The forest service may adopt rules necessary or
   2-32  appropriate to administer and achieve the purpose of this
   2-33  subchapter.
   2-34        Sec. 88.557.  URBAN AND COMMUNITY FORESTRY FUND.  (a)  A
   2-35  special revolving fund is established as a dedicated account within
   2-36  the general revenue fund.  The fund may be used only to purchase
   2-37  plants from firms with a valid Nurser/Floral Inspection Certificate
   2-38  from the Texas Department of Agriculture, to administer this
   2-39  subchapter, and to provide funding for the programs established by
   2-40  this subchapter.
   2-41        (b)  The fund consists of:
   2-42              (1)  federal and state grants;
   2-43              (2)  money from nursery owner, dealer, and agent
   2-44  registration fees paid to the Department of Agriculture;
   2-45              (3)  private contributions; and
   2-46              (4)  depository interest and investment income earned
   2-47  on amounts in the fund.
   2-48        (c)  The state treasurer is the custodian of the fund.  The
   2-49  comptroller shall issue warrants for the fund supported only by
   2-50  vouchers signed by the director.
   2-52  (a)  The director shall prepare a Texas urban and community
   2-53  forestry action plan.  The director, in preparing the plan, may
   2-54  consult with the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory
   2-55  Council established under 16 U.S.C. Section 2105(g), the Texas
   2-56  Urban Forestry Advisory Council, and the members of the Texas Green
   2-57  Industry Council.  The plan must include:
   2-58              (1)  an assessment of the status of urban forest
   2-59  resources in the state;
   2-60              (2)  a review of urban and community forestry programs
   2-61  in the state, including education and technical assistance
   2-62  activities conducted by the forest service, other state agencies,
   2-63  local governments, private nonprofit organizations, and other
   2-64  interested persons;
   2-65              (3)  recommendations for improving the status of the
   2-66  state's urban and community forest resources, including education,
   2-67  technical assistance, and modifications regarding existing programs
   2-68  of relevant state agencies;
   2-69              (4)  an evaluation of projects under the cost-share
   2-70  program; and
    3-1              (5)  an estimate of the resources needed to implement
    3-2  the plan for the 10 fiscal years following the adoption of the
    3-3  plan.
    3-4        (b)  The director shall revise the plan every 10 years.
    3-5        (c)  On completion of the plan, the director shall submit the
    3-6  plan to the governor, the house of representatives committees on
    3-7  agriculture and wildlife and on natural resources, and the senate
    3-8  committee on natural resources.  Not later than December 31 of the
    3-9  second year after the year in which the plan is submitted and on
   3-10  December 31 of each subsequent second year, the director shall
   3-11  submit to the governor a review of the plan.
   3-12        SECTION 2.  Subchapter B, Chapter 71, Agriculture Code, is
   3-13  amended by adding Section 71.061 to read as follows:
   3-14        Sec. 71.061.  DEDICATION OF PORTION OF FEES.  Not later than
   3-15  the 10th day of each month, the department shall send to the state
   3-16  treasurer an amount equal to $15 for each nursery owner, dealer, or
   3-17  agent registration or renewal fee received in the previous month.
   3-18  The state treasurer shall deposit the money to the credit of the
   3-19  urban and community forest fund established under Section 88.557,
   3-20  Education Code.
   3-21        SECTION 3.  (a)  The Department of Agriculture shall increase
   3-22  by $15 the registration fee charged for the registration or the
   3-23  renewal of registration of a nursery owner, dealer, or agent under
   3-24  Section 71.043 or 71.057, Agriculture Code.  The increase in the
   3-25  registration or renewal fee applies to a nursery owner, dealer, or
   3-26  agent of any class but does not apply to a florist unless the
   3-27  florist is also a nursery owner, or a nursery dealer or agent as
   3-28  those terms are defined by Section 71.057, Agriculture Code.
   3-29        (b)  The increase in fees and the Department of Agriculture's
   3-30  duty to send money to the state treasurer provided by this section
   3-31  apply only to an application for registration or renewal of
   3-32  registration filed with the Department of Agriculture on or after
   3-33  the effective date of the rules increasing the fees.  That date may
   3-34  not be later than December 1, 1993, and must be published by the
   3-35  Department of Agriculture in the Texas Register.
   3-36        SECTION 4.  The director of the Texas Forest Service shall
   3-37  prepare the initial plan required under Section 88.558, Education
   3-38  Code, as added by this Act, not later than September 1, 1994.
   3-39        SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1993.
   3-40        SECTION 6.  The importance of this legislation and the
   3-41  crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
   3-42  emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
   3-43  constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
   3-44  days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.
   3-45                               * * * * *
   3-46                                                         Austin,
   3-47  Texas
   3-48                                                         May 21, 1993
   3-49  Hon. Bob Bullock
   3-50  President of the Senate
   3-51  Sir:
   3-52  We, your Committee on Natural Resources to which was referred H.B.
   3-53  No. 1559, have had the same under consideration, and I am
   3-54  instructed to report it back to the Senate with the recommendation
   3-55  that it do pass and be printed.
   3-56                                                         Sims,
   3-57  Chairman
   3-58                               * * * * *
   3-59                               WITNESSES
   3-60                                                  FOR   AGAINST  ON
   3-61  ___________________________________________________________________
   3-62  Name:  Barbara Cilley                            x
   3-63  Representing:  Trees for Austin
   3-64  City:  Austin
   3-65  -------------------------------------------------------------------
   3-66  Name:  Edwin Barron                              x
   3-67  Representing:  Tx Forest Service
   3-68  City:
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   3-70  Name:  Fred Aycock                               x
    4-1  Representing:  Tx Urban Forestry Council
    4-2  City:  Abilene
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    4-4  Name:  Mikd Gordon                               x
    4-5  Representing:  Tx Urban Forestry Council
    4-6  City:  Corpus Christi
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    4-8  Name:  Thomas Mikulastik                                 x
    4-9  Representing:  Tx Assoc. of Landscape Contra
   4-10  City:  Buda
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   4-12  Name:  Eddy Edmondson                                    x
   4-13  Representing:  Tx Assoc. of Nurserymen
   4-14  City:  Austin
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   4-16  Name:  Alvin Ashorn                                            x
   4-17  Representing:  Tx Dept of Agriculture
   4-18  City:  Austin
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